Author: Christopher
•11:46 AM

I'm going to write up this note not to be critical, but rather to point out this glaring inconsistency which plagues our churches. Colossians 3:16 tells us that the songs we sing "teach us." The problem is that some of our songs are teaching heresy, and we as a church are singing them without any thought for what they're actually saying.

First, we sang "One Thing Remains" which is positively awesome. It is a song clearly rooted in New Testament truth, and it sings forth this truth in FAITH.

"Higher than the mountains that I face

Stronger than the power of the grave This song looks BACK to the Cross and Resurrection

Constant through the trial and the change This song talks about God's constant love

One thing remains

One thing remains

Your love never fails it never gives up it never runs out on me

Note that in this song, God is the initiator. That he is generous, loving, kind.

On and one and on and on it goes

It overwhelms and satisfies my soul This song teaches that God's love in Christ is sufficient.

And I never ever have to be afraid

One thing remains

In death and in life I'm confident and covered by the power of your great love

My debt is paid there's nothing that can separate my heart from your great"

Note again, my debt is paid, nothing can separate me from God's love

Isn't that wonderful? In faith, we sing about the work of the Cross, God's constant love, the debt that's been paid, and how great God is. God is worshiped and his people are edified.


Then, we sang "Fall in This Place." This song was clearly written with an Old Testament mindset. It calls for God to do things which He has already done. It is, therefore, full of doubt. It does NOT believe the New Testament truths of Scripture which claim that God has ALREADY finished the work.

There were many people who were stretching forth their hands to God during this song. Pleadingly, though, not thankfully. That is sad seeing how that in Christ, God "has given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness" (2 Peter 1:3), and we are not lacking any good thing. Here are those lyrics:

"Take me to the place lord

Where there’s nothing else but me and you We are already in that place. Christ is our life.

Longing for your presence Christ dwells in our hearts by faith. His presence "NEVER leaves nor forsakes us."

I know that you are calling me to you If you are saved, God is NOT calling you to himself. He did that already.

Pre chorus

Here I stand

And long for your embrace This is a very common cry of the carnal Christian who walks by sight & feelings

Nothing else

Could ever take your place

Chorus

Come holy spirit The New Testament clearly teaches in Acts 2 that the Spirit came already. Live it by faith.

Fall in this place

I need more and more of you God has already given you the Son & the Spirit. You don't need more of God.

Fill me again with the power of your spirit We do need to walk in fullness, but this is achieved thru faith not doubtful pleading.

Lord i’m crying out for

More and more of you This would be more New Testament if it read, "I'm yielding more of myself to you."

Bridge

Lord i’m crying out for

More and more of you (oh)"

This second song literally made my wife cry. It puts the children of God in the place of beggars. It's underlying tone is that God gave stingily when he gave at the Cross and when he poured out the Spirit in Acts. It walks by sight and feelings, not by faith. It pleads with God to do what he has already done.

An Old Testament Levite might sing this song, but not a post-Resurrection believer. Do you know that when the Spirit "fell upon" the early church, the same Greek word is used for when the Father "fell upon" the returning prodigal son? It is the word for embrace. God has already embraced the church and HE HAS NEVER LET GO.

We ought to thank God for his great love, as the first song does, not plead with him to show his love, as the second song does. We ought to be worshiping God for his finished work, not pleading with him to do more.

These songs are teaching us older believers, and they are also teaching young believers who are learning about God through them. Are they learning the right things?

What do the songs teach in your church?

Author: Christopher
•9:25 AM

One of the recent thoughts that came trickling through my head was about the recent increase of mutant abilities on TV and in the movies. Sometimes things are right in front of your face, so close that you don't see them. And, sometimes, you stop and say, "Wonder what that's about?"

Alphas, the 4400, Misfits (in England), X-Men, the Invisible Man, the Incredibles, and the list goes on and on. Each of these shows is about ordinary people doing extraordinary things after receiving extraordinary powers.

Think of it as a false anointing.

Think of it as Joel 2:28 gone horribly wrong. "And it shall come to pass afterward, that I will pour out my spirit upon all flesh; and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, your young men shall see visions:"

In the News:

"We've been hearing reports of mass healings, resurrections, and walking through solid walls."

"Today, a middle-aged man was witnessed walking on the waters of Galilee."

"What you're saying, Phillip, is that you were in one place, and then without any passage of time, you found yourself in a totally different city? Almost as if you had teleported there?"

"I saw it; he called down fire from heaven!"

"As we were watching, He ascended up into the clouds!"

"He just spoke to me, and I was blinded for 3 days!"

We're not sure when, but soon, the final outpouring of the Spirit will take place. Miracles will increase among believers. Not to mention the two witnesses of the book of Revelation will show up in Jerusalem. One will call down fire, one will bring the plagues of Egypt. It will be a crazy time. And, it will be televised.

So, my thought is this: Maybe the world is being pre-conditioned so that when these things start happening, nobody gives glory to God. Mighty signs and wonders are now mutant abilities or latent super-human genes that are finally expressing themselves. It's all about man, not God.

The deceiver has been patiently preparing false documentation to weaken God's greatest arguments.

What do you think?

Author: Christopher
•10:28 PM
We went to church yesterday and heard a sermon on Gideon. The speaker was fairly eloquent, very emotive, and the altar was filled at the invitation. There was even some wailing from a poor soul at the altar.

With all the Amens! and laughter, and Bible verses, why was I sitting there thinking to myself, "Huh? What?"

Unfortunately, too many very able preachers are not rightly dividing the Old Testament from the New Testament. Instead, they are bringing Old Testament principles into the New Testament, OR, when New Testament principles are present in the text, they're missing them.

What am I talking about?

The preacher spoke on Gideon, and one of his points was about this verse:

"And the angel of the LORD appeared unto him, and said unto him, The LORD is with thee, thou mighty man of valour." (Judges 6:12)

Note that phrase, "Thou mighty man of valour." The preacher said that the angel of the LORD was telling Gideon "what he would be." He said that God sees us hiding in the vineyard (inside a building) threshing our wheat (which should be done outside in the wind). He sees us in our frailty and weakness, but he knows what we could be...what we should be.

HOLD IT. Say what?

Listen, when God tells a believer that he has "overcome" (1 John 2:13, 14; 4:4), that does not mean that he will, it means that he HAS. I really wish that the preacher would have said something like this:

"Christian, when you accepted Christ Jesus as your Saviour, you got ALL of heaven with him! All of God's grace, all of God's treasures, all of God's power! He that has the Son has Life, and he has everything else necessary for life and godliness! You are a child of God, not just a mere man. You are grafted into the Vine of God's own nature! You have overcome! You have died to sin, self, and the world, and you have been raised to live above the trials of this life!

But the battle is for your mind. Satan is a liar, and he comes to convince you otherwise!

So, don't just put on the helmet of salvation...realize that you can't ever take it off! Don't just put on righteousness, realize that if Christ dwells in you, you are the very righteousness of God! It's a gift. Live it by faith.

Gideon, you ARE a mighty man of valor because GOD SAID SO! You are that NOW. HERE. In the PRESENT! It is not a work to be accomplished or a dream to be achieved. It is an IDENTITY to be believed."

Identity, Christian, is WHO YOU ARE. HERE AND NOW. You are light. You are joined with God. You are one with the Eternal. You are delivered, holy, and you are sitting far above the battlefield, far above the enemy, and far above the strife. You are sanctified, redeemed, spotless, and glorified.

It's a faith thing. If you believe it, you are. If you don't believe it, you aren't. Either way, you're right.

I am tired of New Testament preachers shouting, "Charge!.... Climb that hill! ... Take that mountain!" Christ Jesus did that stuff already. Now, we enter into rest.

Are you resting in Christ's finished work? Are you resting in your new identity? Are you a mighty man of valor?

Or, do you just hope you will be some day?

Author: Christopher
•4:33 PM
Yet another response to a college student who wrote:

"I disagree with many of your points, Christopher. In particular, I submit that Christianity has everything to do with morality. ...Similarly, the New Testament plainly shows us how to live for Christ by dying to ourselves and seeking after righteousness. It is possible, though you seem cynical about it. ..."

My Response:

Hello, Jesse! I did want to write a short reply to you just to clarify my position.

You are absolutely correct that those who lived under the old covenant of works "often fell out of righteousness (right standing with God)." However, wouldn't you agree that under the new covenant we have been given the gift of righteousness (Romans 5:17) which we have received by faith? And, isn't this righteousness the righteousness of God himself (2 Cor. 5:21) and therefore unchangeable and unending? Therefore, we no longer need to seek after righteousness once we are saved; we possess it! (I believe the verse you have in mind is Matthew 6:33, which I take as an invitation to salvation not as an invitation to right living.) Also, the very basis of the New Testament is that God says he will put his "laws into (our) mind, and write them in (our) hearts" (Hebrews 8). This is a reference to God himself, as his Spirit, living in us and guiding us into a life that pleases Him. "For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure" (Phil. 2:13).

My only argument is that where religion wants to force a man to change from the outside-in (from the bodily actions to the heart), Christianity changes a man from the inside-out. If he will let it. Man's responsibility is to "yield" (Romans 6) and to "let" (Phil. 2:5) God do his work through us. It seems like a minor point, but it is the difference between allowing an apple tree to produce the fruit which it will naturally produce, or standing behind a pulpit and yelling at it to do the same thing.

The New Testament assumes that our "new creature"-ness will affect a change on our outward behavior as we yield to God. Religion assumes that the regenerate man is just as prone to disobedience as the unregenerate man, but why then did Paul call them "saints"? Religion produces hypocrites who are right on the outside, wrong on the inside, and powerless to preach the gospel of Jesus Christ which is, at its heart, a new life...not a new morality. If businessmen, or anyone else, would make a change in this world, then they must first realize that salvation is of the Lord, and sanctification is as well.

I am not negating our will or our choice in the matter. I am simply saying that, given the absence of weeds and the presence of sunlight & water, roses will bloom all by themselves. Many believers are not walking holy lives because they have not been taught that they are, by their very nature, blameless before the eyes of a holy God. They are bound with 'shoulds' and 'should nots' and heaped with such condemnation that they second guess their dreams, their actions, and their very salvation. No wonder they sit in their pews week after week!

Well, I better stop now before I go overboard. I hope this was not too offensive; it was not meant to be. I am simply trying to set forth the New Testament as I see it. Again, I thank you for your response.
Author: Christopher
•9:34 PM



We had to write about being a 'committed' Christian businessman for class. Oh great.


Here it is:

As a young believer, I was taught to walk the aisle, confess my sins, rededicate my life, and that somehow by re-doubling my efforts, I could be a better Christian. In the book of Judges, the nation of Israel sinned, experienced suffering under the ungodly Philistines, repented of their sins, rededicated themselves to God, and then what? They fell into sin again. They repeated the cycle over and over as a nation. This is life under the Old Testament with its self-effort and failure. This is religion imploring us Christians to commit ourselves to live better, walk with God more, and check off the list our actions of obedience: had a quiet time, read the Bible, went to church, etc.

But this is not the teaching of the New Testament. Paul did not set his vision in Philippians chapter one. Rather, he declares his “earnest expectation” and his “hope” (Phil. 1:20, KJV). Not his goal. Not his purpose. In 1:6, Paul tells the Philippians, “Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ.” It is God’s work in them that Paul was confident of, just as he was confidently expecting God to work out in his own life “all boldness” (v. 20). He was not talking about a personal vision, but the “fruit” (v. 11) of being in a right relationship with God through Christ.

The command to “live for Christ” does not occur in the New Testament, and yet it is preached from the pulpit of many churches. God never asks us to live for Christ. He asks us to believe that we have died with Christ, and that we have been raised again in Him. Paul declares this plainly, “I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me” (Gal. 2:20). Or, as Paul tells the Philippians in 1:21, “For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain.”

The reason that Christians fail in their commitment to Christlikeness is because no one can live the Christian life. Failure is the only option for those who seek to follow God in their own strength. Some, who have a stronger will, or who are more naturally pleasant, will give the appearance of Christlikeness, but their own inner guilt and self-condemnation will betray them. Their walk is merely a portrayal of what they think is Christ and not the very life of Christ lived out in the Spirit within them.

As this pertains to Christian businessmen, I would say that Christianity is not about morality. It is not about right and wrong. It is about life, and more specifically, it is about Christ’s life living through you. As you “yield your members” (Romans 6:13) to the Spirit of God, He will cause the fruit (Gal. 5:22-23) of righteousness to be evident in your life. Honesty and propriety (I Cor. 13:4-8) in business will naturally flow from your heart, not as an overwork but as an overflow. And, the glory will go to God, not to your own fleshly efforts.

Author: Christopher
•11:56 AM

Morning rant: Heard a radio program on the way home from work yesterday that really upset me. The host and his guest (a professor from Moody Bible Institute) were talking with a caller about her homosexual son.


She said, "My husband and I met in church. Our son was raised in church. He walked with the Lord up until college, and then he walked away from him. He told us he was homosexual. He's 22 yrs old. And, it breaks my heart."

The guest, from MBI, offered this advise,"I think you have a wrong definition of grace and love. Yes, you should love your son, but you need him to know that you love God more. Yes, I'm saying, but not in so many words, that you should tell him to straighten up because you won't have sin in your house. Listen, if God had a house, would he let people live in it who were sinners?"

This lady actually believed that the advice she was getting was biblical. Her heart was breaking, and this RELIGIOUS so-and-so was telling her that the answer was to push her son away farther. WHAT!?!?

This professor was being religious and trying to be upright and holy, and missed LOVE altogether. He needs a different definition of grace and love, IMO.

My answer: We're in a battle. When darkness sweeps in and grabs one of your kids, you don't push them further into it. You don't shove them out of the one place where truth and love is supposed to be -- your own home! And, if God had a great big house is the wrong starting point....God DOES have a great big house! No 'if' about it. And He has filled it with sinners. God loves sinners...not just redeemed sinners, but BEFORE they are redeemed He loved them enough to die for them.

This guest professor talked about the prodigal son. You kick your kid out into the world, and when he finds it is unsatisfying, he'll come home to you. I have heard this UNLOVING CRAP before, and it is so not of God. First, the prodigal ...son's Father NEVER kicked him out. The son willingly left...and not for the purpose of sinning. The son just had too much money for a young fool, and fell into sin AFTER he left. Second, the Father allowed the son to leave, but immediately began waiting for his son to return home. NOT for his son to repent of sin, but just to come back into his house.

Nowhere in the NT does God instruct us to separate from our children if they are in sin. God doesn't set that example for us, nor does he ask us to do that. Parents are NEVER told to kick out their own children in the NT

And another thing, experience tells us that IF you kick out a 'prodigal', they usually DON'T come back. This homosexual young man, obviously living under the religious guise that was required at his home, finally got tired of pretending. If they kick him out, they will drive him into the arms of comfort and understanding that are waiting for him.

Here's my thought: Since mom thought enough to mention that her and dad met in church, she obviously is religious. This has some special stamp on her relationship with dad. (If they'd met while bowling would she have mentioned it? No.) ...This boy was raised under religion = Christianity. His 'walk with God' was probably just getting along with his parents, and avoiding their displeasure. INSIDE, he believed a lie and he had no one to talk to about it. When he got out of the house, he let the charade drop. Mom and dad were blinded by religion, and missed all the warning signs, and heartache, and so now this appears to be a sudden change. It's not.

Mom and dad will do the wrong thing. Their son will not find any answers or any JESUS at home. Fortunately, Jesus loves this boy, and will try to reach him some other way. However, he has been inoculated to the true JESUS...he equates Jesus with lies and hypocrisy and judgment and lack of understanding.

Way to go Moody professor. Way to go radio host. Way to go Mom. I pray that the love of God finds your son some day. And pray that you wake up the lies of religion, and discover the gracious God of the New Testament before you do the same thing to his younger brothers and sisters.

Rant over. :)

Author: Christopher
•6:57 PM

Jesus said it best, "He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not IS CONDEMNED already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. " (Jn 3)

In Christ = Forgiven

Not In Christ = Condemned ...Already.

You might not like it, but that's Scripture.

"But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, SHALL HAVE their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death." (Rev. 21)

Only in Christ is found salvation. Outside of Christ, the world is lost.

If we look at 1 Cor. 15:22, which states that ALL who are in Christ will be made alive, we have to ask the questions: Are all men in Christ? If not, how do we get in Christ? What happens to those who remain in Adam?

II Cor. 5:17, tells us the BIG 'IF' of being in Christ. It says, "IF any man be in Christ, he is a new creature." Why the 'IF"? Because NOT ALL men are in Christ. It does NOT say, "Since all men are in Christ, they are all new creatures." No, it says, "IF" showing that it is conditional and not certain.

If it is conditional, then what is the condition?

Gal 3:26 was written to believers at Galatia. Paul writes, "For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus." How are they "children of God"? By mere existence or by faith? By faith in Christ. That is, a person MUST believe in Christ to be counted a child of God. "Without faith, it is impossible to please him."

Those who are not 'children of God by faith' are plainly labeled by Christ himself as 'of their father the devil' (Jn 8:44).

This faith in Christ reaches out to Him. It calls upon Him. "For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved." What about those who don't call, who don't believe? This is simple logic: If those who call upon him in faith are saved, then those who do not are not.

Which is why we are commanded to go into all the world and preach the gospel!! Mark 16 tells it plainly, "He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not SHALL BE DAMNED."

Read that again: He that believeth not is what? Damned.

Read it again: He that believeth not is what? _______ .

That is not universal salvation. No, not at all.

Even John tells us that there are some who don't have eternal life. "ye know that no murderer hath eternal life abiding in him." So why should we believe these men who say that all men do have eternal life?

And again, John tells us who DOES have eternal life. "He that hath the Son hath life; and he that hath NOT the Son of God hath not life."

It's an either/or situation.

In Christ = Has Life

Not In Christ = Does not have life

Hath not life. Hath not life. Hath not life. (see?)

"Whosoever shall confess that Jesus is the Son of God, God dwelleth in him, and he in God." This agrees with Paul in Romans 10. The faith which confesses Christ, places us in Christ, AND places Christ in us.

Those who are in Christ, ALL of them, will live. But what of those who remain 'in Adam'? They will die.

Those who remain in Adam WILL die.

But that's a whole lot of people, you might protest. Yes. Jesus said, "broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat." (Matt 7)

But, unfortunately, these unbelievers are counted "enemies of the cross of Christ" (Phil 3:18) "whose end is destruction" (Phil 3:19).

Their end is not peace. Their end is not heaven. Their end is not love and joy. When all is said and done, their end is destruction.

Doesn't sound like universal salvation does it? No, it doesn't.

Paul says that these "shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of his power" (2 Thess 1). Yes, Paul does talk about hell. Do you know what "everlasting destruction" is? Destruction is a one time event. It's done, and it's over. But not this. It's eternal. It's for ever. And, yes, it's downright frightening.

Remember what Paul said to the Ephesians, "that by the space of three years I ceased not to warn every one night and day with tears." (Acts 20)

For THREE YEARS, Paul said.

He WARNED THEM.

EVERY ONE of them.

NIGHT and DAY.

WITH TEARS!!!

Why? Because hell is real, but universalism is not!

We all love John 3:16, but what about John 3:36? "He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the WRATH of God abideth on him. " Just as John 3:16 applies to us today, so does John 3:36.

Now, to sum it all up, listen to what Paul had to say:

"Nay but, O man, who art thou that repliest against God? Shall the thing formed say to him that formed it, Why hast thou made me thus?

Hath not the potter power over the clay, of the same lump to make one vessel unto honour, and another unto dishonour?

What if God, willing to shew his wrath, and to make his power known, endured with much longsuffering the vessels of wrath fitted to destruction:

And that he might make known the riches of his glory on the vessels of mercy, which he had afore prepared unto glory, ..." (Romans 9)

Enough of this replying against God. It's disrespectful to a holy God.